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A relic of the mantle of St. Therese to be venerated at World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro

World Youth Day pilgrims to venerate a piece of the white mantle of St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Therese of Lisieux will be an important figure at World Youth Day 2013.  The theme of WYD 2013 is "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt. 28:19).   As Patroness of Missions, St. Therese has been named one of only five patron saints of World Youth Day 2013.  Pilgrims will have the chance to venerate a relic of St. Therese that has been brought to Rio de Janeiro especially for this occasion.

In May two representatives from the Pilgrimage Office at Lisieux, Dominique Menvielle and Sister Marie-Christine, traveled to Rio de Janeiro to deliver the relic, a fragment of the white choir mantle worn by St. Therese, to the Local Organizing Committee for World Youth Day. This relic, together with relics of other saints, will be present at the Main Events of World Youth Day.  



About St. Therese's Mantle and Habit

The white cloak of which this relic is a fragment is part of the formal religious dress of Discalced Carmelite nuns.

The white mantle of the Carmelite nun

 The Carmelite habit had at least thirteen separate pieces, all fastened with pins.  See photos and descriptions of all these garments right here at the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

The  nuns wore the mantle for choir and for other formal religious occasions.   Above, Celine photographed the community in their white mantles in July 1896.  Therese is in the second row, third from left.







St. Therese's habit would have been passed on to another nun, but Pauline asked Leonie to offer to buy it back.  The monastery was very poor; the prioress accepted the offer, so the habit was preserved.  You may see it today at the Lisieux Carmel. These two photographs were  the gift of Tom and Dee Curci.



When and Where to Venerate The Fragment of St. Therese's Mantle

The relic of St. Therese's choir mantle will be present at the Main Events of World Youth Day.  At other times, the relic will be exposed for veneration in a chapel at Quinta da Boavista as part of the Vocations Fair, which is part of WYD 2013.  All pilgrims are welcome to attend the Vocations Fair, which runs from July 23-26 and is open from 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m.  More than 150 religious orders, diverse movements, and new communities will be present.  Quinta da Boavista ("Farm with a Good View"), a public park, is located in the São Cristóvão neighborhood of Urca, in Praça General Tibúrcio, Sugar Loaf’s underfoot.

World Youth Day pilgrims will also get to visit the special exhibition "St. Therese of Lisieux, or, Burning with Love" that drew seven million visitors at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last summer.  More about this exhibit in another blog entry.

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